The second protest organised under the motto of “Together for a Decent and Safe Life”, the first one being targeted by human rights activists as being anti-Roma in nature, produced friction after one of the protesters burned an EU flag in front of Parliament on Saturday.
Till then the rally had gone without trouble, with about a hundred demonstrators walking from the main train station in Bratislava to Bratislava Castle. After the police arrested the man and one of the organisers, however, this sparked a rain of abuse from the crowd, but tensions did not ignite.
Arrested organiser Marian Misun and the flag burner could face up to a three year jail sentence for rioting. The other main instigator of the rally, Oskar Dobrovodsky, who eventually sold up and moved away from his home because of bothersome Roma neighbours in a much publicised case, referred to the police action as shameful, beating up innocent citizens while protecting antisocial ones.
Dobrovodsky’s problem lies in how the law doesn’t apply to everyone equally in Slovakia, in his opinion, and so stops others from having a decent and safe life. Dobrovodsky, who says he has lost everything and had to leave his home in September, plans to step up activities and organise more protests, the next one for 17 November in the town of Malacky, where his house used to be.